In an amusingly but typically dishonest move, the Discovery Institute says it is opposed to the Indiana creationism bill because it includes religion, unlike the DI’s “intelligent design theory,” which contains no religion at all and how dare you insist it does.
If made law, Indiana Senate Bill 89 (SB89) would allow creationism, a religious view on the origin of species, into the Hoosier state’s biology classrooms. In 1987, the Supreme Court struck down similar legislation as an unconstitutional establishment of religion. Instead of scrapping SB89 in deference to legal precedent, the Indiana Senate has amended the bill to allow more religious views on origins, as if more religion could cure the original problem.
“Instead of injecting religion into biology classes, legislators should be working to promote the inclusion of more science,” said Joshua Youngkin, a law and policy analyst at Discovery Institute’s Center for Science & Culture. “There are plenty of scientific criticisms of Darwin’s theory today, and science students should be able to hear about them, not about religion.”
Let me translate that from wingnut to English: “This bill is far too specific. The courts won’t let us teach religious alternatives to evolution, so we have to pretend that our religious beliefs are really scientific criticism of evolution. And the Indiana legislators just aren’t with the program and haven’t learned to use sufficiently vague language.”
One thing we’ve learned through the years is that our side has one big advantage in such legal battles, and that is that no matter how much the lawyers and PR flacks tell the state legislators and school board members that they have to pretend that their positions have nothing to do with religion, they just can’t help themselves. No matter how many times they’re told that they can’t use religious language, there’s always a Bill Buckingham to say that teaching creationism along with evolution is really about “standing up for Jesus.”
We saw this same thing in the Jessica Ahlquist situation. No matter how much the school board tries to pretend that the prayer mural is just about honoring tradition and history, the people who are supporting them know better and aren’t savvy enough to avoid blurting out that it’s really about getting God back into schools and putting those evil heathens in their place.